|Volume LVII||August 2010||Number 3|
Catherine Delevan sat in her dining room in the Masonic Health Care Center in Elizabethtown with an unopened box resting on a chair in front of her. When Sarah Keene, social worker, approached her, Catherine expressed confusion as to who was sending her the package. "I helped her open the brightly-colored tissue paper that was wrapping the blanket. She saw the purple and pink blanket and held it up as high as she could from her wheelchair. Catherine had a HUGE smile on her face," Keene said. "I will always remember how excited Catherine was to receive that blanket." The quilt reminded Catherine of a baby's blanket, with its purple, pink and white triangles and delicate swirled stitching. The gift brought back memories of her own mother and children.
Catherine's name and King Solomon Lodge No. 584 are stitched into the back of the quilt - a constant reminder to Catherine that she has friends at the lodge. Catherine's gift is part of the Adopt-A-Resident program initiated by R.W. Grand Master Thomas Sturgeon. Through this program, the lodge has committed to making sure Catherine knows someone is thinking about her by visiting her when possible, sending a card or gift for her birthday and holidays, and looking after her general needs.
"I think it's important that we stay in touch with some of the older people and let them know they're still a part of the Masonic traditions. It's part of giving back to the community and giving back to where we came from," Bro. Gerald Warnero, secretary of King Solomon Lodge, said.
Soon after the program began, Bro. Warnero called to sign up. The lodge was looking specifically for someone from the Scranton area so its members could provide the resident with "a taste of home." Ginny Gowden, wife of Bro. William Gowden, has been quilting for nine years. "I have been making quilts and sending them to the Irem Shrine Country Club to send to the Shriners Hospitals for the children for the past few years," Ginny said. "When my husband asked me to make a quilt for their 'adoptee,' I thought it was a wonderful idea!"
While distance makes regular visits to the Masonic Village difficult for members, the lodge hopes to send monthly gifts and cards to Catherine, and other wives are also getting involved to make it happen. One woman has already compiled a care package with art supplies to help keep Catherine busy.
In Sewickley, James and Marjorie Miller have expressed that the most meaningful thing a lodge could do for them is to visit. Through the Adopt-A-Resident program, Dallas Lodge No. 231, Pittsburgh, has committed to doing just that. The members of the lodge had never met the Millers before adopting them, but when Bro. George Clementon, W.M. of Dallas Lodge, and his wife and son visited the couple for the first time, they had plenty to talk about, including Freemasonry, family and the local area. "If you've met the Millers, you know they're a beautiful couple," Bro. Clementon said. By reaching out to the Millers, Bro. Clementon has found an inspiring couple whom the entire lodge can look up to. He hopes to visit the Millers several times a month since his son attends school nearby, and several other brothers who live in the Sewickley area have also expressed interest in stopping by. The lodge has an "in" at the Masonic Village at Sewickley in the form of Bro. H. Paul Brickner, a member of the lodge and active resident of the Valley Care Masonic Center. The Millers can contact Bro. Brickner if they ever need information about the lodge or even simply a friend.
Across the state, bonds are being strengthened among Masonic Village residents and brothers and their families through participation in the 21st Century Masonic Renaissance. "Grand Master Sturgeon's ideas and concepts about Freemasonry are in the right place at the right time and are what is needed," Bro. Clementon said.
While many residents have active families and friends, some no longer have family members and could benefit greatly from reestablishing the bonds of brotherhood with lodge members. Many residents are open to sharing how lodges can best support their needs, but besides visiting and sending cards and gifts, consider taking brothers to lodge events and meetings; cooking a meal with a resident; asking to see family photos and reminiscing together; having your children or grandchildren draw pictures and present them to the residents; teaching the adoptee to use a computer; asking a resident to teach you a skill such as tying flies, calligraphy, knitting, woodworking or another hobby; enjoying lemonade outside together; attending a Masonic Village activity together; helping residents decorate for or clean up from the holidays; assisting a resident with pulling out or putting away seasonal clothes; or helping sort through mail or completing other chores.
If your lodge does not know who to adopt, the Adopt-A-Resident program coordinators listed below can help you connect with a resident or a resident couple. If your lodge has adopted a resident, but has not contacted an Adopt-AResident program coordinator at one of the Masonic Villages, please contact an individual listed. It is important for the Masonic Village to keep track of who has been adopted so the program coordinators can make recommendations to inquiring lodges.Masonic Village at Elizabethtown:
Cynthia Hollinger: (717) 367-1121, ext. 33175 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill:
Lynn Christ: (610) 825-6100, ext. 1271 or email@example.com
Diana Sody: (610) 825-1600, ext. 1214 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Masonic Village at Sewickley:
Ann Beck: (412) 741-1400, ext. 3200 or email@example.com
Cindy Stefl: (412) 741-1400, ext. 3600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Masonic Village at Warminster:
Anne Maher: (215) 672-2500, ext. 112 or email@example.com
Joyce Wadsworth: (215) 672-2500, ext. 116 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to the following lodges and districts who
are already participating in the Adopt-A-Resident Program:
Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682, Elizabethtown
Butler Lodge No. 272
Chandler Lodge No. 227, West Reading
Christiana Lodge No. 417
Concordia Lodge No. 67, Jenkintown
Duquesne-McKeesport Lodge No. 731, Duquesne
Easton Lodge No. 152
Hebron Lodge No. 465, New Oxford
Honesdale Lodge No. 218
Isaac Hiester Lodge No. 660, West Reading
Cambria Lodge No. 278, Johnstown
J. Simpson Africa Lodge No. 628, Stroudsburg
Juniata Lodge No. 282, Hollidaysburg
King Solomon Lodge No. 584, Dunmore
Lamberton Lodge No. 476, Lancaster
Lodge No. 2, Philadelphia
Lodge No. 43, Lancaster
Marion Lodge No. 562, Connellsville
Norristown Lodge No. 620
Perseverance Lodge No. 21, Harrisburg
Pollock Lodge No. 502, Tarentum
Reading Lodge No. 549, West Reading
Robert Burns Lodge No. 464, Harrisburg
St. Alban Lodge No. 529, Philadelphia
Washington Lodge No. 156, Quarryville
William S. Snyder Lodge No. 756, Harrisburg
Williamson Lodge No. 309, Downingtown
W. K. Bray Lodge No. 410, Hatboro
Dallas Lodge No. 231, Pittsburgh
Franklin Lodge No. 263, Laceyville
Ligonier Lodge No. 331
Somerset Lodge No. 358
Harmony Lodge No. 429, Zelienople
Valley Lodge No. 613, Valley Creek
William D. McIlroy Lodge No. 269, Pittsburgh
Kind David Lodge No. 763, Kingston
Care has been taken in the creation of this list. We regret any omissions and encourage lodge secretaries to contact a program coordinator if your lodge is not listed.
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